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Roman Brittain: The Synergy of Digital and Manual Art

Struggling Artist

Roman Brittain is a talented 20-year-old artist from Tacoma, WA. A self-confessed aesthete, Roman works as a construction worker by day, only to return home and paint by night, accompanied by a steady stream of music from his record player. His bold acrylic paintings show the influences of painters like Edvard Munch and Van Gogh, but with a more modern, detailed and slightly haunting look. Shaded, bold color palettes are combined with thick brush strokes and weighty application of paint to create striking abstract portraits and landscapes.

Acrylic painting by Roman Brittain

Roman is one of the many millennial artists with passion, drive, and skill, but finding themselves in a society that doesn’t support their craft. “It’s extremely scary, there are so many of us and we all just want to be artists for a living. It’s not likely that we are all going to be able to make it a career, so it’s very daunting,” he explains, and he’s not wrong. Young, unestablished artists have to find other sources of income since they can rarely make money off of their art. For Roman, however, profit isn’t his main goal when he paints, as he says “My goal is and always has been to be an inspiration to someone else, to show another generation how important art is” and this shows through his work.

Digital sketch by Roman Brittain
Digital sketch by Roman Brittain

Visuals Inspired by Sound

His ardor for art shines through his portfolio, but Brittain hasn’t always been such a devoted artist. He admits that, for a time, he gave up art completely due to lack of support, despite loving it as a kid. However, once re-introduced at the age of 14 by a friend, the spark was reignited. “It’s been the air I breathe ever since,” he says.

Digital sketch by Roman Brittain
Digital sketch by Roman Brittain

Brittain describes getting the inspiration for his work from the emotions the music gives him. Slightly unusually compared to many artists, who take inspiration from books, movies, other pieces of art, Roman describes his creative process as turning on his record player and working from the emotions the music brings up. Then, once those emotions die away, putting on a new track until the painting is done.

Digital sketch by Roman Brittain

Despite not having a set style for most of his work, you can see Roman’s affinity for acrylic paints in his portfolio. That’s not all he’s capable of. His newfound passion for digital painting gives way to explore much more opportunities with various media. His artwork is very distinct and stands out from other young artists, with his unique ability to make abstract definite.

Digital sketch by Roman Brittain
Digital sketch by Roman Brittain

Like any other young artist, Roman still explores his abilities with classic and digital art. It’s hard to tell where Roman’s inspiration will take him next, but one thing is for certain – the color work and bold brushstrokes, whether done on tablet or canvas, will never fail to capture the intimacy and raw emotion of a person in front of him.

All images copyright of Roman Brittain.

You can view more work by Roman on his Instagram and website.

Article written by Liberty Stembridge and Natalie Kotok

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